So after a huge first night out in Seoul and the reunion with Millwall Neil in the freezing Winter of South Korea, lunch (rather later than usual) including a hot coffee was high on our agendas. The area Neil lives in is known as Neung Dong (I will also refer to it as Konkuk, perhaps incorrectly, though there is a University there called Konkuk University, and that seemed easier to remember).
It was Neil’s girlfriend Christina who suggested Charlie Brown’s! “What?” I said, suddenly realising that I hadn’t heard of Charlie Brown since the early 1980s when I used to read the books and comics.
And round the corner from Neil’s flat – there it was in its’elegant glory. A coffee shop come restaurant called Charlie Browns. Things like this turn normal days of travel into interesting experiences.
The shop on the way in had a section entirely dedicated to Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoons.
Neil uses his best Korean to order. Coffees and snacks were what we were after.
After you order they give you a portable buzzer to wait for your food. Mine was of the character Lucy Van Pelt. I must admit I hadn’t heard of her before.
They had large replica models of each of the characters. This dude sucking him thumb was a big Millwall fan.
Christina gets hers. I think it was a cappuccino and some sweet bread with strawberry jam.
I pick mine up – a bagel with cream cheese and a hot coffee. Sugar but no milk. The night before had been a LATE one for Neil and I on a mega catch up so the coffee was just the tonic I needed.
Neil and Christina enjoy their lunch.
A cheers – love the authentic Charlie Brown cups. This cafe visit was excellent!
The Cafe is on the first floor up a staircase and overlooks what seems to be a main road in the Konkuk area. The view was as good as the snack and coffee.
With Neil and the owner Charlie Brown himself. Thanks for taking me there guys – loved it!
A final photo from Charlie Brown’s Cafe was the view over the main street. It was colder than it looks in the photo!
Central Konkuk, or Neung Dong, Seoul. 23rd December 2011.
The next plan was for us to head to Hyewha having picked up some of my stuff from Neil’s flat. I was spending 8 days in South Korea, 4 of them Panny and I had booked a wee hostel in Hyewha, the other 4 I could stay with Neil. So it was handy that I could leave my big bag at Neil’s place and only take the essentials for the next 4 days over to Hyewha.
We went to Hyewha by bus. It took two buses in fact. The first bus was from this street.
A few photos from where we took the bus.
First bus arrives! Is it the 4212?
Neil and Christina on the bus journey.
View from the bus. Not busy and basic. They are also much hotter than the world outside!
Traffic junction and a nice church viewed from the first bus.
Crossing the bridge on the first bus.
Onto the 721 I think – the second bus.
Second bus – on these 2 journeys the 3 of us were the only foreigners. Check out the funky Christmas decoration on the bus.
Arrival in Hyewha. A funky wee district in the north of the city. Panny had booked us into a hostel here and Christina knew the way.
It was a 20 minute walk or so.
Streets of Hyewha. Loved the name Hyewha. Almost fantasy like.
In keeping with our cafe theme for the day, there was also a “Hello Kitty” Cafe – a bit more girly and pink than the Charlie Brown one.
I spied this world beer barket in Hyewha. Panny and I would visit it on our last night together in Seoul.
A church of course on route to the hostel in Hyewha. It was now night time and darkness was falling.
The church. We found the hostel easily, thanks to Christina. It was the Fully House Hostel – excellent place to stay. Well recommended. We had our own room.
The cosy lounge and kitchen at Fully House – I loved this hostel. Thanks for booking it Panny.
Next up it was trying to get more money out – these ATMs were crazy. A lot more complex than I was used to.
Managed to get it in English though and it was off back round Hyewha for the three of us, after I had checked in and left my stuff in the hostel.
The only bank in the area that let me withdraw money in Hyewha!
We all know places like Japan and Korea are nuts on computers and gaming. It was time for some Konami – a wee game of Bishy Bashy!! Step back in time for Neil and I. I suddenly remembered that I once worked in the amusement arcades in Bournemouth Seafront. That was 2004.
I’m pretty sure Neil and Christina kicked ass and won all the games. I don’t particularly enjoy computer games to be honest. Though in the 1990s I did own a Sega Game Gear (and about 7 games) plus a Super Nintendo (and about 15 games). This was just a bit of fun for me.
A takeaway place on the corner – Dong Bang. Loved the Korean names. It feels cultured to visit South Korea. Moreso than some other places I have been recently.
A Pasta Restaurant! Foods of the world really unite in South Korea. Most of the trip I ate Korean food, but tonight we decided on an Indian.
The Indian Restaurant – it was simply called India Cali.
Another amazing meal was on its way. I have seriously lost count of the amount of random meals I have eaten with Neil. England fried breakfasts, Northern Ireland pastie suppers, even a fry up in Scotland, USA beer breakfasts, Australian kangaroos, Taiwanese barbecues, Hong Kong style Chinese…not to mention KIMCHI!
Even an Indian in Korea comes with Kimchi. It’s a national obsession, and why not.
Immense Indian meal. Devoured. It was water instead of beer until the next bar.
After eating I found amusement in a tree which has its own carpet. Well to keep the roots warm.
Downtown Hyewha at night. We were heading for a few beers and while this was all happening, the delightful Panny Yu was on a flight and bus soon to arrive. The South Korea trip was in full swing!
From – Neil’s Flat at Neung Dong/Konkuk University
To – Fully House Hostel, 1F£, 5 Myeongnyun 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Hyewha, SEOUL
Nationalities Met – South Korean, English (a guy in the hostel)
Transport Used – Two Seoul Buses (I’ll be damned if I can remember which ones)
Food – Charlie Brown’s for lunch, Indian for dinner
Drink – Coffee and water (beer to follow)
Strange Currencies – South Korean Won
Key Song –
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – CHARLIE (not just for the word “Charlie” but a reminder of 2004, when 7 and a half years earlier, Neil and I went to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert together in Hyde Park, London!):
A FEW CHARLIE BROWN VIDEOS:
LUCY ANALYSES CHARLIE BROWN:
CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:
CHILLING AT NEIL’S FLAT IN KONKUK UNIVERSITY AREA, SEOUL:
WALKING THROUGH HYEWHA, SEOUL:
KONKUK TO HYEWHA BY BUS, SEOUL:
PLAYING BISHY BASHY – VIDEO GAMES IN SEOUL: